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Submission impossible

May 27, 2015, 05:00 AM
Authors : Wendy Bradley
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Post date : May 27, 2015, 05:04 AM

I have a history with Budget submissions. The first one I made vanished into the ether; HMT denied ever having received it.

So, the next year, I put in the idea again. That time, I got a confirmation of receipt but no action.

This year, I’ve been fascinated by MOSS and the work of the EU VAT action group. I thought I would pass on its suggestion that HMRC operate the same kind of informal threshold as Ireland seems to have for turnover in the hundreds, only with a more useful limit.

The action group is asking for €2m, but I put in a rather more modest suggestion: an extra-statutory concession to exclude turnover below the £82,000UK VAT threshold for non-digital goods.

OK, then.  Make a Budget suggestion. This is what happens: you get a Survey Monkey response with one question; an empty box into which you're asked to enter your idea. No contact details are recorded, and the site prevents you from going back and making another entry (“You have already taken this survey”).

To me, this doesn’t say, “We're taking you seriously”. It’s more like, “Yeah, right, peasants”. 

If you look at the summary of the process of dealing with Budget suggestions, you don't even get the reassurance someone in the relevant policy team has looked at it.

Really makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

Wendy Bradley is a tax blogger and a former member of HMRC’s Better Regulation team

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